Tortoise Monitoring Using Cayenne


My son was old enough to get his first pet; as to why he chose a tortoise, I’ll never know. But ‘Luchito’ is now part of the family and apparently will be for 60+ years. For those who don’t know, tortoise habitats need to be equipped with UVB and heat bulbs. They need about 8 - 12 hours of light per day and the temp needs to be kept within a range of 78 degrees F - 92 degrees F. In an effort to get him interested in tinkering, making, and the general capabilities of the Raspberry Pi, I thought I’d do a fun project with him related to ensuring that his pet tortoise, ‘Luchito’, has the best care available.

What’s Connected

The Pi is connected to the internet through a WiFi dongle. The dongle is near the router, so I have not seen any drop in connection yet. We connected a light sensor (TSL2561) and a temperature sensor (BMP180). These were I2C sensors so it couldn’t have been easier to get these up on the dashboard. We had fun testing the sensors by making the temperature go up or light decrease and seeing the dashboard reflect appropriately.

I have 3 triggers set up.

  1. Send me SMS if temperature gets too hot.
  2. Send me SMS if temperature gets too cold.
  3. Send me SMS if light gets too low.

Dashboard Screenshots

Screenshot 1: General overview of the dashboard.

Screenshot 2: Triggers set up for Luchito.


Picture 1: Side view of the two sensors (inside) and the Pi (outside).

Picture 2: The heat lamp and light lamp.

Picture 3: Overview of Luchito’s enclosure.

Picture 4: Couldn’t resist uploading a pic of this cute little guy.


Nice one :slightly_smiling:
Well done
Tidy !
~ Andrew


Welcome to the group!

Very nice!

A much cleaner installation than my fish tank-


We have a scheduling feature coming out very soon. This would be perfect to turn on and off the light everyday at specific times!

Please keep us updated with this project as it iterates with our new features :slightly_smiling:

Next would be using it to trigger the heatmat/lamp on an under/over temp situation.

Also a dashboard notification if the lid is off and an alarm when it’s been off for xx length of time.

Great idea! I’ll update this post when I have some time to do some home improvements to Luchito’s home :slightly_smiling:


Just thought of something else. Grab a Bluetooth dongle and pkace loads of sensors on Luchito to monitor vital signs, track movement, pedometer, heart rate, a camera… An IoT tortoise…

Maybe that going a bit too far,lol

Pedometer on a turtle.
That made me laugh!


Just a basic triple axis accelerometer or even one of the multi DOF sensors would be ‘kind of’ fun but will pick up static trending it over time to see at least when active on a trend would be quite interesting to look at…

This is the sort of thing and why I am kind of hanging out for options to bring in serial data Direct to ttty AMA0 and log it as a virtual / remote variable. There are sooo many cool as things that could come in via say BTle / radio / LoRa etc now.

Since there are LoRa connections I for one would willingly put my hand up to test / demo some ideas here…

~ Andrew